Update - December 18, 2010
My abdomen has been bloated, distended, and very painful for a couple of weeks now. During the day the pain is bad, but at night it is very close to intolerable.
I haven't had a bowel movement of any significance in about the same period. Several times I have taken a fairly large dose of laxatives, but the only result has been a small amount of brown water about 10 - 12 hours later.
It seems like the body has just shut down the digestive process. The kidneys are still working a little, but they seem to be shutting down too. We may be facing a situation of multiple organ failure.
The respiratory infection battle which was making such a great mount of the nasal mucus and the mucus from the lungs seems to be abating. But even so the wracking cough continues, and I do still continue to cough up a big sticky load.
Much of the body remains very sensitive (painful) to the touch, from the thighs and abdomen around to the back of the torso. Hence laying down (to sleep) has become a big challenge. Perhaps I slept a little last night. Maybe not. It didn't feel like I got any sleep; and for a week or two sleep has been difficult.
The legs and feet barely work at all now. Even just lifting the legs into bed is a major undertaking. Inserting the legs, or removing them, from a set of loose fitting sweat pants sometimes is a major ordeal. The fingers and especially the fingertips are numb most of the time.
The dilemma continues. I am battling Stage IV leukemia (there is no Stage V). For several weeks now I have had at least one other serious illness layered on top of the leukemia. Perhaps influenza.
This is all so stressful that I am almost surprised I have not suffered a heart attack or some other major organ failure. I feel like the kidneys are borderline.
My criteria to myself has not changed. If the situation evolves into one where the pain and suffering become intolerable AND that it is all downhill from here, there is no hope that things are going to improve, then it is fair (maybe even sensible ) to consider the option of checking out at a time of your choosing. Rather than just accepting more terrible suffering which has to possibility of improving.
The goal is reduce NEEDLESS suffering. If there is even a remote possibility of improvement, then suicide is a very permanent solution to a temporary problem.